Democrats Propose New Mine Safety Legislation In Congress

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The National Mining Association is criticizing as premature new federal mine safety legislation proposed today.

Chief Executive Kraig Naasz (Nahz) says safety isn't served by imposing extra, more burdensome requirements until last year's MINER Act is fully implemented.

Among other things, the legislation would ban the use of so-called belt air ventilation and limit coal dust exposure. It also would increase penalties for mines that exhibit a pattern of violations and give the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration stronger subpoena power.

The legislation is being sponsored by West Virginia Congressman Nick Rahall, California Congressman George Miller and Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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